If your phone is indispensible and you use it to check email, take pictures and listen to music then why shouldn’t you use it to treat an illness? Local researchers are testing a phone application they’ve developed that might help people with depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, used to treat depression, often consists of homework – where a therapist and patient come up with unique activities to assist in their treatment. These are supposed to be done independently. Judy Callon, a research assistant professor at The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing worked to develop the application with researchers at Carnegie Mellon. She says many people often don’t do their independent treatments but with the convenience of them being on one’s cell phone – they might.
"When you do the homework you do get better faster and it really does improve the clinical outcome. So my thought was if we made use of something, an article that was near to us all the time, that might help us do our homework all through the day that it might really help depressed patients get better faster," she said.
The phone will be tested in the next few months. Callan hopes if the application tests successfully, that it would be downloadable. She stresses that it would be used in addition to, not in place of therapy.